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SHIPS AND BOATS OF EGYPT

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Bianca
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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2008, 06:12:06 am »






Wadi Abu Wasil - Boat being dragged - ca. 4.000 BCE, after Wilkinson, 2003.


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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2008, 06:14:48 am »






The Twelfth Hour - Middle Register
Tomb of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III - ca. 1426 BCE.


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« Reply #32 on: January 07, 2008, 06:44:16 am »



A BOAT FOUND IN THE DASHUR PITS
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« Reply #33 on: January 07, 2008, 06:50:09 am »



MODEL BOAT FOUND IN TUTANKHAMUN'S TOMB
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« Reply #34 on: January 07, 2008, 07:10:41 am »



Boats are shown in the tombs of the nobles as being used to draw the sarco-
phagus to the tomb. This example is from the Tomb of Roy. Other tombs show
the boats as they are crossing the Nile with all the funeral goods and the
mourners.

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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2008, 07:17:08 am »



Ancient Egyptian sail boat, from about 2000 BC
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2008, 07:27:58 am »


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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2008, 07:31:27 am »



DETAIL OF THE BATTLE OF MEDINET HABU

The crescent-shaped ship has a fore- and aft-castle. The bow in front ends in a lioness devouring an Asian. This prow did not serve as a ram, but was rather a piece of decoration, symbolizing the Egyptian king (in the form of a lion, the symbol of the goddess Sekhmet) destroying his enemy. The inscription has the entry:

'His majesty is like an enraged lion, attacking. ..'

A ram would have been situated much lower on the prow below the water-line, so as to crush the timber of the enemy ship, causing a leak.

At the back a large oar is visible which is used as a rudder and is handled by a helmsman who steers the ship. The sails hoisted are to enable the fighters to engage in battle unobstructed. The ship is propelled by oarsmen with their oars.

Due to the detail of the relief, the central mast, with a crow's nest, is also visible.


http://rapidttp.com/milhist/vol074ic.html
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« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2008, 07:13:56 am »



Clockwise from top:

the roof of the buried solar boat;
Yoshimura explaining the new technique used and
the first boat on display









                                                       Sailing into eternity





July 31, 2008
Weekly Aharam,
Cairo, Egypt

Visitors to the Giza Plateau will be able to view Khufu's second solar boat through a tiny camera 4,500 years after it was buried to ferry the king to eternity. Nevine El-Aref takes a look
 
On the southern side of Khufu's Great Pyramid, a hundred journalists, photographers, cameramen and television presenters gathered inside a five-metre-long metal hanger padded with black fabric. Inside the hanger were 10 leather chairs and an LCD screen showing scenes of Khufu's solar boat in situ. From last Saturday, Khufu's second solar boat is on show to the public for the first time since its discovery by Egyptian architect and archaeologist Kamal El-Mallakh with Zaki Nour in 1954.

At that time El-Mallakh and Nour found two boat pits during routine cleaning at the southern side of the Great Pyramid. The first pit was found under a roof of 41 limestone slabs, each weighing almost 20 tonnes, with the three westernmost of the slabs being much smaller than the others leading them to be interpreted as keystones. On removing one of the slabs El-Mallakh and Nour saw a cedar boat, completely dismantled but arranged in the semblance of its finished form. Also inside the pit were layers of mats, ropes, instruments made of flint and some small pieces of white plaster along with 12 oars, 58 poles, three cylindrical columns and five doors.

The boat was removed piece by piece under the supervision of the master of restorers Ahmed Youssef, who spent more than 20 years restoring and reassembling the boat. The task resembled the fitting together of a giant jigsaw puzzle, and the completed boat is now on display at Khufu's Solar Boat Museum on the Giza Plateau. The cedar timbers of its curved hull are lashed together with hemp rope in a technique used until recent times by traditional shipbuilders on the shores of the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

The boat's prow and stern are in the form of papyrus stalks, with the one on the stern bent over. It is therefore essentially a replica of a type of papyrus reed boat, perhaps dating back to the predynastic period. It is not difficult to find many objects of a similar style made in the Old Kingdom in more durable material. It has a cabin or inner shrine, which is enclosed within a reed-mat structure with poles in the same papyrus type. It also has a small forward cabin that was probably for the captain. Propulsion was by means of 10 oars, and it was steered using two large oar rudders located in the stern. There was no mast and therefore no sail, and the general design of the boat would have not allowed it to be used other than for river travel.

On the walls of the pit were several builders' marks and inscriptions, including some 18 cartouches containing the name of Khufu's son Djedefre. This suggests to many Egyptologists that some parts of his tomb complex were not completed until after Khufu's death. One scholar, Dobrev, has theorised that the two boat pits on the south side of the Great Pyramid were built by Djedefre as a gesture of piety connected with the establishment of the local divine cult of his father and founder of the royal necropolis in Giza. However, if the boats were used at the funeral of Khufu, it would be natural for Djedefre to have buried them with his cartouches.

In the neighbouring pit, the boat remained sealed in its pit up until 1987 when it was examined by the American National Geographic Society in association with the Egyptian office for historical monuments. They bore a hole into the limestone beams covering it and inserted a micro camera and measuring equipment. The void space over the boat was photographed and air measurements made, after which the pit was sealed again. It was thought that the pit had been so well sealed that the air inside would be as it had been since ancient Egyptian times, but sadly this has not been the case, as natural air leaked into the pit and mixed with the air inside it. This has allowed insect to thrive and affect some parts of the wooden beams.

In 1992, in collaboration with the Japanese government, a Japanese scientific and archaeological team from Waseda University headed by Sakuji Yoshimura offered a grant of $10 millions to remove the boat from the pit, restore and reassemble it and put it on show to the public. They cleaned the pit of insects but Yoshimura told reporters that water had leaked from the nearby museum which housed the first solar boat. This had affected a small part of the wood, hence the necessity quickly to finish the studies and restore the wood.

Completion of the studies is expected to last for about another five years, but meanwhile the Japanese team has inserted a camera through a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling to transmit video images of the boat onto a small TV monitor on the site.

Images are screened showing layers of wooden beams and timbers of cedar and acacia, as well as ropes, mats and remains of limestone blocks and small pieces of white plaster.

"Now we can smell the past," says Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

"This is the first time this technology has been used to look at buried antiquities," Hawass says. He adds that state-of-the-art technology is now in the service of science and archaeology. "CT scan examination was used to know the reason for the mysterious death of Tutankhamun, as well as identifying some royal mummies such as the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut and the diseases they suffered from," he says.

Hawass says the camera will allow an assessment of the boat's condition and a look at the possibility of restoring it and taking it, along with the neighbouring boat, to the planned Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking the Giza Plateau. However, if studies reveal that the boats will suffer adverse effects from the move they will be left in situ.

Five boat pits have been discovered in the pyramid complex of Khufu; three boat-shaped pits with narrow prows and sterns at the east side of the pyramid, and other two on the southern side that are rectangular in shape and were cut to house full-size wooden boats that had been dismantled.

Two of the boat pits on the east side are now empty. Their walls were probably surfaced with limestone slabs, which reduced their width and simplified construction of a roof to cover them. The British archaeologist Flinders Petrie found some roofing blocks covering the end of the southern trench, but some scholars think that they were never covered, since pillars would have been needed to help span their width. The third boat pit, which is also empty, is located on the upper north edge of the causeway, and therefore at the very threshold of the mortuary temple. It has a convex floor and is accessible by way of an ancient staircase with 18 steps. Though these pits probably did at one time hold boats, some scholars have also speculated that they could themselves have simulated boats, rather than containing real ones. However, George Resiner found cordage and pieces of gilded wood inside the third pit along the causeway, indicating that a boat had once been present.

The two pits on the south contained intact boats. According to MarkLehner, the boat pits on the southern side of the complex differ from the others in one important aspect. They are long, narrow and rectangular, rather than boat shaped, and they contain the disassembled parts of real boats. That the pits were built no later than the end of the Fourth Dynasty is demonstrated by the fact that they lie partially under the pyramid's southern enclosure wall, which is dated to the end of that dynasty.

According to Egyptologist John Darnell of Yale University, new research into the second boat could fill in some blanks about the significance of the vessels and help determine whether they ever actually plied River Nile waterways or were of purely spiritual importance.

"In Egypt, almost everything real had its counterpart meaning or significance in the spiritual world. But there's a lot of debate as to whether these vessels were ever used or not," Darnell said.

In fact, there are three main schools of thought concerning the function of Khufu's pits and the boats they contained. The first, propounded by Jaroslav Cerny, is that four of them were ritual boats for carrying the king to the four cardinal points and that the fifth was the boat in which the body of the king was transported to Giza.

The second school, originally expressed by Walter Emery in reference to the first-dynasty mastaba at Saqqara and then adopted by Egyptologist Selim Hassan, holds that they were solar boats and thus carried the king to visit the sun god Re, or accompanied him in his voyage across the sky. The third concept, expounded principally by Abdel-Moneim Abu Bakr, suggests that all the boats were originally used in the king's lifetime for pilgrimages and other ceremonies.

Some Egyptologists argue that Khufu's boats may have touched water, pointing to rope marks on the wood that could have been caused by the rope becoming wet and then shrinking as it dried.

However, Hawass believes that these were symbolic vessels, not funerary boats, and were not used to bring Khufu's embalmed remains up the Nile from the ancient capital of Memphis for burial in the Great Pyramid, the oldest and largest of Giza's Pyramids. He says solar symbols found inside the second pit offer more evidence that those who disassembled and buried the boats believed Khufu's soul would travel from his tomb in the pyramid through a connecting air shaft to the boat chambers, and that he would use the boats to circle the heavens, like the sun god, taking one boat by day and the other by night.
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2008, 10:21:42 pm »










Zahi Hawas, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA),
left, and Japanese Egyptologist Sakuji Yoshimura, right, from
Waseda Universty in Japan, display for the first time the
Pharaoh Cheops' second solar boat through a camera put inside
the boat pit at the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt, Saturday,
July 19, 2008 which tourists will be able to see for the first time
without the pit having to be uncovered again.

The screen shows the boat which lies 10 metres below the sur-
face and is believed to have been built to take King Cheops to
the heavens after his death nearly 5000 years ago.

(AP Photo/Amr Nabil)









                                           Scholars will reassemble ancient Egyptian boat






Sat Jul 19, 2008
Yahoo News
 
CAIRO, Egypt - Archaeologists and scholars will excavate hundreds of fragments of an ancient Egyptian wooden boat entombed in an underground chamber next to Giza's Great pyramid. They will then try to reassemble the craft.
 
The 4,500-year-old vessel is the sister ship of a similar boat removed in pieces in 1954 from another pit and painstakingly reconstructed. Experts believe the boats were meant to ferry the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid in the afterlife.

Starting Saturday, tourists were allowed to view images from inside the second boat pit from a camera inserted through the a hole in the chamber's limestone ceiling.

Professor Sakuji Yoshimura of Japan's Waseda University says the excavation of around 600 pieces of timber will begin in November.
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2008, 10:43:22 pm »










                                                      Ancient Egyptian Boat
             






AP
July 19, 2008

Tourists visit the ancient Pharaos king Cheops' first solar boat during their visit to the boat museum at the Pyramids site in Giza, Egypt.

Cheops' second solar boat is now displayed through a camera put inside the boat which tourists will be able to see for the first time without the pit having to be uncovered again. The solar boats are believed to have been built to take King Cheops to the heavens after his death nearly 5000 years ago.
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« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2008, 11:00:49 pm »










                                                        The Smell of Time



                   In the shadow of the Great Pyramid, they clipped away at the gypsum seal....






Written by Nancy Jenkins
SAUDIARAMCOWORLD
January/February 1980


Outside Cairo, the oldest boat in the world sits in a dusty, glass-walled museum next to the largest of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau. Built as part of the funerary equipment of King Cheops, second ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, the boat, just over 142 feet long, is a majestic curve of age-darkened cedar, its aroma still pungent some 46 centuries after it was buried in a pit near the great pyramid.


One of the most exciting archeological finds of all time, the boat was discovered in 1954 when workmen from the Egyptian antiquities department were clearing a great mound of wind-blown debris from the south side of the pyramid thought to be the burial place of Cheops. Beneath the debris they found an ancient wall and, beneath the wall, 41 massive stone blocks, each weighing more than 15 tons, set side by side into the bedrock of the plateau and chinked with a hard gypsum plaster.


To the man in charge of clearing the debris, Kamal al-Mallakh - now an editor in Cairo, but then a young and enthusiastic architect-archeologist—the discovery of the stone blocks demanded a closer look. Years before, archeologists had found three empty "boat pits" on the east side of the same pyramid - one of them with fragments of gilded wood in the bottom—and believed that ceremonial boats had been buried in them in ancient times. But until the workmen found the limestone blocks at the Cheops pyramid - and then another 40 blocks adjacent to the first lot - few archeologists really hoped to find an actual boat. In archeology, time and vandals often get there first.


Al-Mallakh, however, was certain that the pits contained boats. Aligned so that the rocky partition in the bedrock separating them fell precisely along the axis of the Great Pyramid's south face, the great blocks, he says, immediately suggested the supremely confident stonework of the Fourth Dynasty. And the untouched plaster chinking suggested that - possibly - there might still be boats, or the remnants of boats, in the pit beneath the great blocks.


Whether the pits actually contained boats, however, and, if they did, what their condition would be after 46 centuries, were questions that could only be answered by opening them. Despite some initial resistance, therefore, al-Mallakh received permission to open a hole in the middle of the easternmost row of blocks and in the spring of 1954, near the end of the archeological season, his workmen began to chisel into the stone.


The workmen proceeded slowly and cautiously at first, al-Mallakh said, because there was no way of knowing how thick the stone was or what damage might be inflicted by a falling fragment on whatever was concealed inside. Eventually, though, on May 26,1954, they reached the shelf, nearly six feet down, on which the megalith rested.


It was towards noon, al-Mallakh recalled recently, a time when the white desert light glares on the Giza plateau and the dense volumes of the pyramids seem to shimmer in the nearly intolerable heat. As they were only inches away from their goal, al-Mallakh took over the chisel himself, until, finally, the last fragment fell away, leaving a small black hole, its darkness a sharp contrast to the glare outside.


"I closed my eyes..." al-Mallakh said, "like a cat. And then, with my eyes closed, I smelled incense, a very holy, holy, holy smell. I smelled time. I smelled centuries. I smelled history. And then I was sure the boat was there."
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« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2008, 11:02:44 pm »










It was. Minutes later, using his own shaving mirror as a reflector, al-Mallakh flashed a beam of sunlight into the darkness of the pit; with incredible good fortune it fell precisely on the tip of a blade, one of a pair of great steering oars or rudders, each more than eight feet long and carved, shaft and blade alike, from a single piece of Lebanese cedar, each lying just where it had been placed by the workmen of the king Djedefre, the son of Cheops, 4,600 years before.


It was, obviously, an important discovery and the Department of Antiquities, quick to realize it, immediately appointed a commission to oversee the excavation of the pit - and the adjacent pit where, they assumed, there was a sister ship. The commission, in turn, quickly set to work removing the huge 15-ton blocks of limestone that covered the pit, a job that took 18 months. Finally, though, the pit was open and the boat was exposed to the Egyptian sunlight for the first time in 46 centuries, its timbers, according to one witness, "as hard and new as if they had been buried a year ago."


Although the Cheops Boat was intact, however, her timbers had been dismantled and were carefully laid out -1,224 pieces - like a giant do-it-yourself kit. The next project, therefore, was to reassemble the boat. But as this do-it-yourself kit, unfortunately, came without instructions, the antiquities department had to turn to Hag Ahmed Youssef, one of Egypt's masters in the difficult field of restoration.


One of a rare breed of restorers, Hag Ahmed has not only skill and technology at his command, but also an instinctive feel for the material and the period in which he is working. Hag Ahmed, indeed, concentrates so intensely on his work that, he himself admits, he sometimes identifies totally with a 12th-Dynasty sculptor or a Ramesside goldsmith and is startled when he leaves his labors to find himself in the modern world.


Nevertheless, the reconstruction of the Cheops Boat was to be his most difficult assignment. Before he even picked up a fragment of wood from the boat, however, he had to become an expert on the almost unknown subject of ancient Egyptian boat-building.


There were, to be sure, some clues. From the reliefs carved on walls and tombs, and from hundreds of little wooden models found in tombs, he could get a pretty clear idea of what a finished boat looked like. But as there was almost no information available on the construction process, Hag Ahmed, hoping that modern shipwrights might have retained methods that would suggest how the ancients had built their craft, visited the Nile boatyards of Old Cairo and Ma'adi and went to Alexandria, where wooden river boats were still being made. Then, when he found that the differences between ancient and modern boat building - in Egypt, at least - were perhaps greater than the similarities, he investigated the work of shipwrights who built in a different tradition.


What he found is that modern boats are "frame-built" boats; the keel and ribs are built first and the outer "skin" of hull planks is attached later, whereas, in the older tradition, called "shell construction," the hull planking, or shell, is put together first, after which the frames, or ribs, are inserted to give strength and rigidity. The hull timbers are attached to each other, but the strengthening members are independent of the overall construction. And this, it turns out, is the method by which the ancients built the Cheops Boat and, archeologists now believe, most ancient boats.
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« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2008, 11:04:53 pm »









During his research, Hag Ahmed found another difference in boat-building that would not become apparent until the Cheops Boat timbers were excavated; the hull timbers were literally stitched together with yards and yards of hemp rope, an ancient tradition maintained until very recently by shipwrights on the coasts of the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.


This technique - used to build the Arab merchantmen that sailed to China in the seventh and eighth centuries (See Aramco World, July-August 1975) - seems flimsy, but the construction, in fact, is sound. In the water the wood swells, the cords shrink and a watertight, yet flexible, hull is achieved - precisely the way, Hag Ahmed learned, the shipwrights of the Fourth Dynasty built the funerary boat of King Cheops.


Having made himself an expert in both ancient and modern boat-building techniques, Hag Ahmed was at last ready for the task of lifting the timbers and fragments from the pit. As the pieces varied in size from a few inches to 66-foot sections of the hull - and as they were buried in 13 well-defined layers - it was an exacting task. Each of the 1,224 pieces, for example, had to be photographed, drawn and catalogued. In addition, Dr. Zaki Iskander, then head of the antiquities department's chemical laboratories, had to treat each piece of wood with polyvinyl acetate, a plastic preservative, and, in some cases, treat the pieces with insecticide and fungicide as a protection against insects and mold.


Altogether, the first restoration took four years, but since then Hag Ahmed, a devout Muslim and a man of intelligence and humor, has taken the ship apart and put it together three more times as authorities changed plans for the site of the museum. And despite the problems - of research on ancient boat-building and in constructing it directly without a completed model - experts agree that it was a masterly job which, in the process of reconstruction, revealed much new information about ancient boats as well as the ancient society that built them.


On completion, the boat measured 142 feet long with a beam of 18 feet and a maximum draft of nearly five feet. Called a "papyriform boat" by Egyptologists, it is an imitation in wood of the early papyrus reed rafts in which, the ancient Egyptians believed, the Egyptian sun-god voyaged across the heavens daily.


Because of its shape, the boat is called the "Solar Boat" and many have assumed, as a result, that its purpose was to provide Cheops with transport in accompanying the sun-god. Others, however, disagree. Indeed, the use of the Cheops Boat has been a subject of spirited controversy since it was discovered. Hag Ahmed, for example, categorically rejects the official designation of the "Solar Boat".


Although in ancient Egypt, it is true, the deified king was said to accompany the sun-god on his eternal rounds, Hag Ahmed has pointed out that the dead king would not need a separate boat of his own; he would have joined the sun-god in the god's own barge.


Hag Ahmed, with the authority of his 25 years' association with the boat, says firmly that the boat was used to transport the king's embalmed body from Memphis - then the capital of Upper and Lower Egypt - to the Giza plateau for burial beneath the pyramid. This, he says, would have taken place at the time of the Nile flood.


Others, however, state flatly that the boat was never used at all. The boat, they say, was built, dismantled and laid in the pit all at the same time for the king's use in any voyage he might make in the after-life. And if the adjacent pit is ever opened, they add, it will probably hold a boat that has sails rather than oars, so that the dead king would be able to sail upstream with the prevailing north wind, as well as travel downstream in the oared boat.


There is no certainty, of course, that there is a boat in the second boat pit, and although the second pit seems to be as well sealed with gypsum plaster as the first - suggesting that there is a boat in it – the Egyptians have wisely decided not to open the pit until the question of the first boat’s preservation is settled - a question that has distressed all archeologists, and Hag Ahmed in particular, since the museum was built.


The question is actually quite simple: will the boat, now housed in a specially-designed, glass-walled museum, survive or deteriorate? Because installation of temperature controls in the museum was never finished, some archeologists, and Hag Ahmed, think the fluctuating temperatures of the area may eventually destroy what is unquestionably one of the greatest archeological finds of all time and one of the world's irreplaceable treasures. If so, the second boat, if there is one, would be much safer left where it is: the first boat, after all, suffered less in 4,600 years in the boat pit than in the few years it has been in the museum.


Meanwhile, the museum has been closed, and except for an occasional glimpse through the dusty windows, virtually no one sees the boat any more except, occasionally, the worried Hag Ahmed - who still hopes a solution can be found before it is too late.







Nancy Jenkins,


a Rome-based correspondent for Aramco World, has recently completed a book on the famous Cheops Boat, with photographs by Ross.

The book, The Boat Beneath the Pyramids, will be published this fall by Holt Rinehart and Winston.




This article appeared on pages 12-17 of the January/February 1980 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.



http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198001/the.smell.of.time.htm
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« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2008, 02:17:00 pm »










                                  Technology along the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Boats






In the first part of the story we saw how the first boats on the river Nile were built from papyrus reeds. Much of the evidence we have for these boats has to be interpreted from early paintings and crude clay models. A major development was the introduction of wood for making the hulls of boats and we are lucky to have not just the usual reliefs and paintings, but a large number of tomb models and even some rare full-sized examples of the actual boats writes Bob Partridge in the second of this two-part series.

We know that in ancient times it was difficult to obtain large pieces of timber from native Egyptian trees and the use of wood on a larger scale had to wait until the technology was available to cut, shape and join the timbers. This involved skilled woodworking techniques and the use of fairly advanced tools, skills that were not really available until just before the beginning of the dynastic period, which is when the first evidence for wooden boats appears. In its simplest form, a wooden boat consists of a bottom and two side planks lashed to the bottom by rope. This type of construction is remarkably effective, for when wet the wood expands and the rope shrinks, providing a watertight seal.

Many of the early wooden boats are ‘papyriform’ in shape, i.e. identical to the shape of papyrus boats. To some extent, the similarity in shape may be coincidental, in that boats tend to be ‘boat’ shaped the world over, but the builders probably copied the designs and shapes with which they were readily familiar. The decorated bows and sterns of the wooden boats imitated tied bundles of papyrus, although the features became more stylised. The first boat builders in wood even reproduced the appearance of the rope and the individual reeds.

Many boat graves have been found in Egypt, although most are empty. The earliest dates to the reign of Hor Aha (around 3050 B.C.). A relatively recent find, currently still being excavated, has been made at Abydos. What appears to be a number of relatively intact wooden boats have been found near the funerary enclosure of King Khasekhemwy of the First Dynasty. These promise to reveal a wealth of information about early boat-building techniques.
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